Asking a Computer if God Exists

Asking a Computer if God Exists

Years ago, I heard a joke that went something like this. Scientists developed a massively powerful computer that could answer any question. The researchers asked the computer, “How did the universe begin?” The computer whirred, lights flashed, and out popped this answer: “See Genesis 1:1.” That joke originated when computers filled a large room, had spinning reels of tape and flashing lights, and used punch cards. Now, computers are small, use keyboards and monitors, have voice recognition, and speak in many languages. Soon we may have quantum computers with capabilities only dreamed of today. Have you ever tried asking a computer if God exists?

A topic that has received much publicity in recent months is artificial intelligence (AI). As computers become more humanlike with their ability to speak and answer questions, we are coming to depend on them more and more. Knowledgeable people suggest that the growth of AI will dramatically affect business, medicine, and entertainment. Other areas expected to face major changes because of AI are work, war, and education.

Recently, I have seen articles concerning a new AI development that worries educators. It’s called ChatGPT. This app can do more than answer questions. It can write essays. A student with an assignment to write a 500-word essay on a subject can input the topic and let ChatGPT write the paper. I decided this would be a good opportunity for asking a computer if God exists.

Going back to that old story, I asked the computer, “How did the universe begin?” ChatGPT responded with a 237-word essay on the Big Bang that agreed with current scientific theories. It was nicely worded, grammatically correct, and would probably satisfy a school teacher. However, it didn’t fully answer the question, just as the Big Bang theory does not.

Then I asked ChatGPT to write an essay about proving the existence of God. The result was 430 words that read in part:

“One of the most commonly cited arguments for the existence of God is the cosmological argument. This argument states that the universe had a beginning, and that everything that begins to exist must have a cause. Therefore, it is reasoned that the universe must have been caused by something that exists outside of the universe, and that this cause is God. This argument is based on the principle of causality, which states that for every effect, there must be a cause.
Another argument for the existence of God is the teleological argument. This argument states that the universe is complex and ordered, with many intricate systems and processes that work together in harmony. This complexity and order is argued to be the result of an intelligent designer, which is God. The design argument is based on the idea that the universe is too complex and ordered to be the result of chance, and that it must have been created by an intelligent being.
A third argument that is often used to prove the existence of God is the moral argument. This argument states that humans have a moral sense, and that this moral sense must come from a higher being, which is God. The moral argument is based on the idea that moral laws and values cannot be explained by natural causes, but must be the result of an intelligent and moral being.
Some people argue that the existence of God can be known through personal experience, through faith. They believe that God can reveal himself in personal experiences, such as through prayer, meditation, or other spiritual practices. They argue that the existence of God is something that can be known through a personal relationship with God, and not something that can be proven through reason or science.”


That summarized the arguments for God’s existence. Then, however, I decided to make the question more direct by asking a computer if God exists. So I asked ChatGPT, “Does God exist?” The answer came back in 195 words that concluded with:

“Ultimately, the question of whether or not God exists is a matter of personal belief and faith. It is important for individuals to form their own opinions on the matter based on their own experiences, beliefs and personal understanding of the world.”

Since ChatGPT never referred me to Genesis 1:1, I decided to ask, “What do we learn from Genesis 1:1?” I received this response:

“It teaches that God is the creator of all things, including the heavens and the earth. Additionally, it implies that God’s creation of the universe was a purposeful and deliberate act, rather than the result of chance or natural processes.”

I certainly can’t argue with that. I conclude that asking a computer if God exists will never result in a definitive answer to the question. Each of us must reach our own conclusion based on examining the evidence with an open mind.

— Roland Earnst © 2023

Reference: ChatGPT from OpenAI

The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything

Perhaps the most sought-after quest in physics today is what scientists call the unified theory of everything. Physics researchers are pushing to discover a uniting concept that would combine all the forces in the universe into one equation and one understanding.

For most of us, this goal seems useless, but every new understanding of the forces in the natural world has led to good things for humanity. For example, Newton’s laws of gravity and mechanics led to the industrial revolution, which raised the standard of living for everyone on the planet. Maxwell and Faraday discovered the laws of electricity and magnetism, which gave us all the conveniences electricity provides. Heisenberg and Schrodinger discovered the quantum laws which led to lasers, transistors, computers, and the internet.

As modern researchers explore the details of all these theories looking for the theory of everything, it becomes increasingly apparent that they all come from the same source. There is a single relationship that connects all of the forces in the creation. Understanding the design of each of those forces brings us new applications to improve our lives in the future.

Dr. Michio Kaku has been a leader in this quest to find the theory of everything, and his latest book is titled, The God Equation. It is striking that these new understandings are very compatible with the biblical concept of God. The Bible portrays God as outside of time and space. His properties include being in a different dimension from the creation and the single source of all things. While the media popularizes string theory and time travel, they are the products of a vivid imagination. The real application of the unified theory of everything is the fact that there is a single source to all we see and experience, and that single source is God.

Science and faith always agree and support each other. It is human limitations that stop us from advancing scientifically and spiritually. How one comes to faith in God varies from person to person, but the teachings of Jesus Christ are easily understood and lead us to faith in the one Source of everything now and for eternity – God.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Reference: Discover magazine for Jan/Feb 2023, pages 9-11.

Potential Life-Supporting Planets are Hard to Find

Potential Life-Supporting Planets are Hard to Find
Exoplanet Concept

Astronomers have discovered over 5,000 exoplanets in the last 30 years, and 2022 was a banner year. Exoplanets are planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. Astronomers are looking for potential life-supporting planets similar to Earth but orbiting another star like our Sun.

If you are going to find life in space, it would have to be on a planet with surface water and an atmosphere that provides oxidation and protects the surface from radiation and meteorite bombardment. Unfortunately, potential life-supporting planets are hard to find. Here is the breakdown of exoplanet characteristics so far:

*30% of all exoplanets are gas giants like Jupiter or Saturn.
*35% are like Neptune or Uranus, with densities so low that no life form could exist and no surface features that could sustain life.
*31% of all exoplanets are called super-earths which may have rocky surfaces but are too massive to support the chemicals needed for life. They lie somewhere between the mass of Earth and the mass of Neptune.
*Only 4% of all exoplanets are considered to be terrestrial, like Earth. However, many of them orbit the wrong kind of star, have no magnetic field, or have other properties that would be hostile to any life form.


The bottom line is that the study of exoplanets has shown the exceptional qualities of our planet and solar system. We must take care of planet Earth because we have no other potential life-supporting planets to migrate to if we make this planet hostile to life. God designed not only the life on our planet but also the conditions that allow that life to exist.

There are many possible explanations for why exoplanets exist. For example, they may be debris from the construction of our universe or the preparation for other life forms in the distant future. The message of exoplanets is that our planet is unique. The statement “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the skies show the work of His hands” takes on a special meaning in the light of what we see in space.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Data from NASA/JPL-Caltech reported in Discover magazine January/February 2023.

The Appearance of Design

The Appearance of Design
In the final days of 2022, we are looking back at some of the major topics we have previously covered.

Look around, and you will see amazing things in the natural world that give the appearance of design. Atheist evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has said that biology is the study of things that give the appearance of having been designed. But, of course, he does not believe they were designed because he does not believe in a designer. Is he correct, or is there a better explanation for the appearance of design? Here are some links to past articles in which we have dealt with that topic:

Those are just a few of the past articles on design that show evidence for a Designer. We believe that God has given us two revelations of Himself. One is His creation, and the other is His written word. The authority of the Bible is another subject we have dealt with often. Tomorrow, we will share some links from past articles on that topic.

The Age of the Earth

The Age of the Earth
In the final days of 2022, we are looking back at some of the major topics we have previously covered.

Yesterday, we looked back at what we have said about dinosaurs. Of course, that topic always leads to questions about the age of the Earth. Some insist that the Bible tells us that the planet is 6,000 years old, or at least not more than 10,000 years. Does it really say that? Here are some links to where we have discussed this before:

When considering the age of the Earth, we invite you to go to DoesGodExist.tv and scroll down to video #28, “The Age of Things.”

A helpful booklet on this topic is “GOD’S REVELATION IN HIS ROCKS AND HIS WORD.” It is available to read on DoesGodExist.org.

Those are some of the materials we have produced dealing with the age of our planet and God’s creative process to make Earth the perfect home for advanced human civilization and for working out His plan to defeat evil. Tomorrow, we will consider evolution.

Alien Minerals and Alien Life

Alien Minerals and Alien Life

Andrew Locock at the University of Alberta discovered two new minerals in a fragment of the El Ali meteorite that landed in Somalia. These minerals had never been found naturally on Earth, although scientists had synthesized them in a lab. Chris Herd, an Earth and Atmospheric Sciences professor and curator of the University of Alberta’s meteorite collection, named the two alien minerals “Elaliite” and “Elkinstantonite.”

The tabloids try to use this find to suggest that alien worlds exist that are radically different from Earth. The fact is that these minerals contain the common elements iron, potassium, and oxygen. Like many other “alien minerals” such as Brianite, Xifengite, and Heamanite, scientists have synthesized them. Inorganic materials can form new chemical configurations when they are subjected to temperatures and pressures not seen on Earth’s surface. All of these minerals with unfamiliar names are the product of conditions not present on the surface of our planet.

There are chemical restraints on what elements can sustain life. Biologists tell us that life is “that form that can move, breathe. respond to outside stimuli, and reproduce.” The elements that make those functions possible are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. For example, living things made of iron are not chemically possible, yet iron is the dominant element in meteorites. Oxygen is the one oxidizing element that allows respiration without adverse chemical reactions that would prevent life from surviving. For that reason, life forms breathing chlorine or bromine are not possible.

At the same time, alien minerals in meteorites do not mean that alien life is impossible. On the contrary, if there is life in space, it will be made of the same elements that we are. It may not look like us or live as we do, but we will not have any trouble identifying it as life.

Every time this issue comes up, it reminds me of my experience on a radio show. I was in Washington, D.C., doing a call-in talk show with Larry King (before he became famous) and a local atheist. We had a lively discussion about science and faith with some references to alien life. A caller said to the atheist, “What would you do if a spaceship landed on the White House Lawn and a little green man jumped out with a Bible in his hand and said, ‘Has Jesus been here yet?’” Before I could point out some problems with that proposal, my atheist opponent looked at me, smiled, and said, “Punt.” Larry King responded by going to a commercial.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

How Fast Are You Moving?

How Fast Are You Moving?

If I asked, “How fast are you moving?” you might reply that you are sitting still. However, don’t forget that you are sitting on a planet that is spinning on its axis. A fixed observer in space would say that you are moving with the planet’s rotation at up to 1000 miles per hour if you are close to the equator. At the same time, Earth is revolving around the Sun at roughly 66,000 miles per hour. The Sun is one of 100 billion stars rotating around a black hole at the core of the Milky Way galaxy at approximately 400,000 miles per hour. Meanwhile, the galaxy is moving through space at around 2,200,000 miles per hour. So, how fast are you moving when viewed from a fixed point in space?

The amazing thing about the creation is that each of these numbers is critical for our survival. The spin of the Earth on its axis distributes heat in a way that we are not frozen or burned up. The revolution around the Sun keeps us from being drawn into the Sun or slung into outer space and frozen. The movement of the Sun around the galactic core prevents the black hole at the center of our galaxy from sucking in the entire solar system and destroying it. The galaxy’s movement through space prevents it from being absorbed by another galaxy. The speeds are critically fine-tuned because there is no tolerance for error.

As astronomers look at other solar systems and galaxies, they see the speeds that allow us to exist are not that common in space. The simple statement of Psalms 19 that “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above shows His handiwork” reminds us that we are not the product of an accident. The more we learn about the cosmos, the more obvious it becomes that our existence is a product of intelligent design.

The psalmist also reminds us of the astonishing fact that the Creator cares about us. “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars which you have ordained, what is man, that you are mindful of him …” (Psalms 8:3-4). So how fast are you moving right now? Fast enough to exist and to know that there is a reason for that existence. Read Job 1 and 2 and Ephesians 3:9-11 and 6:12 to learn more about that reason.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

Observing Fibonacci Day

Observing Fibonacci Day

Humans look for ways to celebrate certain days. We laugh at Groundhog Day and use Valentine’s Day for special human relationships. Some days have extensive significance, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Veteran’s Day. We are now observing Fibonacci Day on November 23. Fibonacci Day is an unusual celebration of a remarkable mathematical sequence.

Fibonacci was an Italian mathematician who noticed in the year 1202 some interesting oddities about a particular sequence of numbers: 1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55, 89,144, 233. Notice that when you add any two sequential numbers, you get the next number. For example 5 + 8 = 13; 8 + 13 = 21; etc. If you divide two sequential numbers, you get .618034, which some mathematicians have called the “golden mean.”

Applying this Fibonacci sequence to architecture, you get a practical application. A rectangle using any two sequential numbers is aesthetically pleasing to human eyes. If you cut a square off any of these rectangles, you get another rectangle with the Fibonacci sequence. If you connect the corners of the squares in a series of Fibonacci rectangles, you get a spiral (see sketch).

An amazing thing about this is that there are an unlimited number of examples of Fibonacci spirals in the natural world. A small sampling includes:
*The spiral arms of galaxies curl in a Fibonacci spiral.
*The curl of a wave in the ocean fits the Fibonacci spiral.
*The snail shells curl in a Fibonacci curve.
*Elephant tusks curve in a Fibonacci spiral.
*The roots of human teeth curve in a Fibonacci spiral.
*Spider webs fit the Fibonacci spiral
*Keys on the piano are 5 black and 8 white, 13 in all, fitting the ratio.

*Musical chords producing pleasing sounds have the Fibonacci ratio.
*Bacteria growth curves fit the Fibonacci ratio.

There is no natural or evolutionary reason for the Fibonacci sequence. Notice it isn’t just in one discipline but in widely separated areas of study.

The Fibonacci Association publishes a magazine called the Fibonacci Quarterly, and people have written several books about the Fibonacci ratio. If you are observing Fibonacci Day, realize that this demonstrates God’s design in the creation. Chance does not produce a pattern across multiple disciplines like this.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

For more on this, go to DoesGodExist.tv and watch program number 5.

Blood Moon and Shooting Stars

Blood Moon and Shooting Stars

On the morning of November 8, you will have a chance to see a total lunar eclipse, also known as a “blood moon.” At the same, you may also see a display of “shooting stars.”

A full moon occurs every 29.5 days as our planet comes between the Moon and the Sun. A couple of times per year, the alignment is precise enough that some part of Earth’s shadow falls on the Moon. If the outer area of the shadow crosses the Moon, we see a slight darkening of the Moon’s light. If the full shadow covers only a portion of the Moon, we see a partial eclipse looking as if someone has taken a bite out of the Moon. However, we will see the more dramatic total lunar eclipse this time.

When the eclipse reaches totality, the Moon will take on an orange or reddish glow. That is why people call it a “blood moon.” That color is because the small amount of sunlight reaching the Moon’s surface is the glow of sunrise and sunset all around the world. Our atmosphere bends and filters the light, blocking the blue light and focusing the lower-frequency reds and yellows on the Moon. We see that reflected back to us, this time for about 85 minutes.

You can enjoy a double treat if the sky is clear and the weather is not too cold. This is also the time for the annual Taurid meteor shower. The annual Taurid “shooting stars” are actually fragments of the comet Encke which burn up from the friction of Earth’s atmosphere. They are primarily tiny sand-grain-size pieces of rock that appear as streaks of light. However, some may be a little larger, looking like fireballs. The Taurids generally move more slowly and are often larger than the meteorites of other annual meteor showers. But, they may be fewer and farther between, with perhaps five to fifteen per hour visible in very dark skies.

The problem this year is that the peak of the Taurids is during the full Moon. The bright Moon always makes it difficult to see the much dimmer meteor showers. However, the 85 minutes of the total lunar eclipse creates an ideal window to look for the meteorites. So you can enjoy the “blood moon” and the “shooting stars” at the same time.

So, how and when can you see them? The total eclipse phase will begin on the morning of November 8 at 5:17 a.m. and end at 6:42 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The partial eclipse will start and end about half an hour before and after those times. The faint penumbral phase will begin and end about an hour before and after the partial eclipse times. To see the Taurids, plan on being where you can see a clear view of the whole sky during the total eclipse phase. If you miss this total lunar eclipse, the next one will not occur until March 14, 2025.

Romans 1:20 tells us that we can know there is a God by observing the things He has made. What do the lunar eclipse and the Taurid meteor shower tell us about God? They are not omens of world events. They tell us that the creation is not chaotic but predictable. We live in a solar “system” in which we can accurately predict the movement of planets and moons and calculate what is going to happen and when–even to the exact minute. God has given us an orderly universe that we can study to learn about His power and wisdom. He has also given us His written word, which we can study to learn about His love and find the instructions for how to enjoy the gifts He wants to give us.

— Roland Earnst © 2022

References: TimeandDate.com on their website or YouTube channel and NASA HERE, HERE, and HERE

Numbers, Chance, and Design

Numbers Chance and Design

It’s an interesting case of numbers, chance, and design. We often get letters and emails from atheists who want to argue about the things we post. Interestingly, they usually do the opposite of what the writer expects. For example, we recently received a challenge to our argument for God based on the design we see throughout the cosmos. Our atheist friend claimed that numbers are a matter of chance, and therefore they refute any suggestion of design.

In reality, the opposite is true. I was familiar with the example my atheist friend gave. It involves the fact that multiplying 111,111,111 by itself gives a sequence that my atheist friend says “might look like design but clearly isn’t.” You can do this yourself. Multiply 111,111,111 by 111,111,111 and see what you get. If you do it correctly, the answer 12,345,678,987,654,321. Try it and see. Is this a product of chance or a product of design?

This works in a numerical system based on 10, which we use in the western world. However, we are in the midst of switching to a binary system because our computers work on 1 and 0 (or + and -), and much of our world today runs on computers. When mathematicians developed these systems, they had to choose a numerical sequence that worked well for the time and the culture in which they functioned. Since we have ten fingers, base ten was a good choice. I had a math professor who told us that if the early scholars had been barefooted, we would have been using a base twenty system.

What does that tell us about numbers, chance, and design?
The point is that the reason 111,111,111 times 111,111,111 gives the pattern that it does is because intelligence designed the system. Intelligent minds made the choices that produced the number pattern. This is an argument for the validity of design in the creation, and design demands a Designer.

— John N. Clayton © 2022